Mobile games are now the biggest segment in the global games market, but high-fidelity games in particular are coming out on top. A new report from industry analyst Newzoo in a partnership with the chip manufacturer ARM, finds that hi-fi games have shown strong year-over-year growth, and have experienced 40.7 percent growth from 2015 to 2016 in China, North America, and Europe combined.
The report defines hi-fi games as those featuring advanced graphics. The market for these kinds of games is already well developed in China, where hi-fi games make up 42.3 percent of the revenue from top grossing mobile games in 2016. In the 200 top grossing mobile titles in China, 110 of them were hi-fi.
Newzoo reports that 60 percent of mobile revenue come from users in the Asia-Pacific region, though China alone accounts for 32 percent of that. This year, Asia-Pacific is slated to generate $27.6 billion. One of the top games in Asia right now is Lineage2: Revolution from South Korean developer Netmarble Games. In February, it was the top-grossing mobile game in the world and earned $176 million in its first month alone.
The North American market is still catching up, but Newzoo says that it’s growing. In North America, the top grossing mobile games grew 8.5 percent last year whereas hi-fi games grew 15 percent, nearly double.
Big publishers like Square Enix and Electronic Arts have also been active in the mobile space. EA’s Madden NFL is one of the top-grossing titles, and it’s been trying to reproduce that success with popular soccer game FIFA on the mobile platform as well. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment also doubled down on mobile titles and recently opened a New York office just to focus on live operations and its mobile games like the superhero-powered Injustice 2.